May 17 2013
May 10 2013
Turns out when you take a previously uninhabitable space and make it all nice and neat and conducive to creativity, the very people you were looking to get away from want to hang out and enjoy your new space with you.
The husband has been suddenly seized by the need to park himself within six feet of my new desk and sort though decades of old files and boxes; boxes he was perfectly happy to ignore until they were in the same room as me.
He found a receipt from when he bought a shower curtain and a bath mat for his first apartment and nattered on about it for an hour. Add a fleece vest zipped to the chin and a hat that looks like it was fished out of the garbage and he will officially have become his mother.
For the foreseeable future, it looks like I will still only be dreaming of solitude rather than painting in it.
Apr 30 2013
Had to take a wee break there. A couple of weeks back I made the serious tactical error of letting the cable guy install a wireless receiver on the HD monitor in the husband’s office, which shared a wall with my studio. Before that, when he was done working he had to go to the other side of the house to indulge his addictions to screamy horror and sci-fi movies and equally screamy political news channels. Not after the new wireless receiver! No those blissful days were over.
Let me tell you, it is terribly difficult to maintain a zen mindset and paint peaceful landscapes to a soundtrack of constant shrieking about the end of civilization, no matter whether it’s due to zombies, asteroid impact, or gun control.
After about a week I could stand it no longer and declared that I was moving my studio to the basement. This option has been debated for years and opposed by the husband on the grounds that it makes him look like a tremendous asshole to have a large, sunny, comfortable workspace upstairs while his wife is confined to the cellar like cast-off furniture.
The list of objections was endless: the darkness! the stairs! the isolation! the overwhelming obstacles of organization and renovation! Good God, the sheer manpower it would require! Weeks and weeks of work to make the space even marginally habitable! Finally he decided that it might be achieved gradually over the course of several months with the help of a qualified contractor, but was far too big a project for me to tackle. He would make some calls and see if a consultation could be scheduled with a reputable professional, right after he got back from a quick business trip.
I drove him to the airport and then went home and did this: Three days and three hundred dollars. When will the men learn to hush, step aside and let a woman get something done?
Now I can relax in the soul crushing darkness and isolation and paint.
Apr 07 2013
Ahhh, it looks like Spring has moved into my palette again. Sometimes I wonder what a therapist would make of my habit of painting solitary houses in the middle of rather barren landscapes with no people in them. I can just imagine one banging on about me being lonely, depressed and isolated.
Ha! Right now “lonely and isolated” reads like a dream real estate ad to me! If you added “spotty phone reception” and “generally inaccessible by motorized transport” I would be writing a down payment check.
Mar 31 2013
Everything around me is turning more intensely green by the day, so why am I suddenly painting snow?
Mar 24 2013
This was allegedly Spring Break, but there hasn’t been much of one around here. I have spent most of the daylight hours sitting in a gym while my kid works with a basketball coach. It cost roughly the same as a nice hotel for a week, but can you really put a price on a great jump shot?
It sure beats spending money on therapy, remedial tutoring or legal fees.
Mar 17 2013
I am on a quest now to fill this sketch book with small paintings. I have managed to convince myself that it will someday be a treasured keepsake for my child. But I am truly kidding myself.
If I want it to be treasured by my kid, it would be stamped on the front with the logo of a certain basketball player, and all the paintings would have to be of high dollar basketball shoes. If I did a sketchbook like that, he would sleep with it under his pillow every night.
Mar 15 2013
My son’s first track meet was this week. Track is the perfect sport for parents with portable hobbies/jobs. There is lots of room in the stands, the meets are canceled in bad weather and do not require more than occasional attention and cheering. Perfect for sketching, knitting, grading papers, writing copy or updating spread sheets. And if you are very lucky, like me, your kid’s events are all clumped together up front. So after a half hour or so of supportive parental attention, you can go sit in your sun-warmed car and paint.
Mar 10 2013
Cause I am getting my posting groove back. Trying to anyway.
I have started a new sketchbook. The weather is lovely, the days are getting longer, and I am spending large chunks of time sitting at various gyms and practice fields again. Well, not really again, the proper word would be still…
Mar 06 2013
I fell off the posting wagon, but I have a good excuse, I was being mercilessly tortured. A few examples below:
“I see you got new dish towels. They’re very nice. A lovely color. I suppose your mother has already seen them. I should probably get new dishtowels. I can’t even remember when I last bought new dishtowels. Sweetheart? Do you remember when I bought the green dishtowels? Was it 1984 or 1987? What do you mean ‘what green dishtowels’? Our green dishtowels! The ones with the mushroom pattern! I know Helen was engaged…I went shopping for a wedding present for Helen, and there was a sale on dishtowels at Macy’s… I couldn’t decide between the green ones and a set of yellow ones with fruit on them. I bought the green ones, and then I decided to return them and get the yellow ones, but when I went back they were gone! Can you believe it!? I should have bought them when I had the chance….I have been stuck with those green dishtowels all these years…”
“Wonderful tissues you have in the bathroom, marvelous. I should look for this brand when I go home…they’re wonderful. Very soft. The box is lovely too. It’s very tasteful. Did you pick these out yourself? You did a wonderful job, they’re excellent tissues.”
“I don’t know if I should have the fish or the chicken. I wonder if the chicken is broiled? I had fish the day before yesterday… maybe I should have the chicken. But I do love salmon. Have you had the salmon here? Is it good? What are you having? The pasta! Oh my GOAHD, I didn’t even get to that page of the menu yet. Although I shouldn’t have pasta…I’m pre-diabetic and gluten sensitive. Oh, but it sounds so good. Now I really can’t make up my mind. Tell the waiter I’m going to need more time, and some more bread. ”
When the in-laws visit you have an audience and rambling commentary on whatever you are doing. Whether it’s cooking, loading the dishwasher or watching tv, they treat it like staged entertainment. For the duration of their visit I put away the paints and confined my activities to using the leaf blower on the patio, vacuuming the entire house and grinding up sturdy root vegetables in the food processor. It gave them something to watch and rendered me temporarily deaf. Yea! We all win!
As soon as the husband left to drive them to the airport I poured myself a celebratory drink and broke out the paints!